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News & opinion

11 JUN 2018

ICMS a must for the competitiveness of the European industry

The European Commission urges the industry to use a unified and transparent system of measurement for construction such as ICMS - International Construction Measurement Standard – to attract investment and impulse the competitiveness of the European industry.

The construction sector delivers the buildings and infrastructure needed by society and has a strategic role in the economy, representing almost 9% of the total EU GDP. To foster its competitiveness, it is important international investors, including governments have the same accurate data to be used with confidence for project financing & investment, programme and decision-making.

Adopted by a global coalition, established in 2015, with more than 40 professional organisations – ICMS is an international standard that enhances the consistency and comparability in construction cost reporting, helping investors and construction managers to take the right decisions.

Many global construction consultants (such as Arcadis, ARUP, Gleeds, Turner and Townsend and RLB) as well as contractors have now incorporated the standard in their working processes and, increasingly, end users and governments are recommending the use of standards. For example, the Housing Agency in Ireland, the Infrastructure Projects Authority in the UK, Infrastructure Ontario in Canada, the Qatari Government and the G20 Infrastructure Hub are using ICMS.

In the EU, the European Commission deems ICMS as an opportunity for the sector and the EU industry and the European economy, as a whole. In Paris, at the recent European congress of UNTEC bringing together leaders of the construction sector to discuss future trends in the sector, Antonio Paparella, representing the European Commission at DG GROW, explained how the global standard will enhance the competitiveness of the EU industry: "In Europe, the European Commission is keen to see ICMS used by the industry to aid consistency and comparability in construction cost reporting. Fragmentation across markets and the inconsistency of how construction projects are costed and reported can lead to wrong decisions with serious implications for both, businesses and citizens, in particular, when it comes to big public infrastructure projects. Inaccurate cost reporting deters investments in construction and impacts our competitiveness.

“The EC is also looking forward to the publication of ICMS 2, to incorporate life cycle costs, since this will align with work that we are already carrying out at EU level in this area. Enabling better cost data for whole life design and investment decisions is key to improving the construction procurement and asset management process. At the same time, expanding cost metrics to incorporate the social benefits of construction is one area where ICMS may naturally extend in the future and the European Commission would be interested in exploring this potential further."

Listen to Antonio Paparella, European Commission DG-GROW on what is ICMS in an interview with Radio Immo (French)

Other testimonials supporting ICMS

The President of the UNTEC (International Congress of Construction Economists), Pascal Asselin FRICS, explaining what does a Quantity surveyor (in French “Economiste de la Construction”) does in practice, emphasized the growing importance for the profession to work with global standards for property measurement and construction measurement in today’s globalised world. Our objective is to have an international language. Listen to Pascal Asselin in Radio Immo

In Spain, CGATE (Consejo General de Arquitectos técnicos) explained last week at #CONTART2018 a congress looking at the future: “ICMS offers huge opportunities for the profession in charge of construction cost at global level as well as in Spain, CGATE is coordinating the translation of these global standards to facilitate and encourage its use in Spain”

Read CGATE website